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How to make sure triage is happening fast enough?

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As testing is executed by the Applause Community, the testers will be submitting issues when encountered. Through the triage process we – first your TTL then potentially other team members and even you – ensure issues are documented at the right level of detail that will allow your teams to attend, prioritize and ultimately fix them. “Good” issues are approved, “bad” or irrelevant issues are rejected, questionable issues are returned to the testers for clarifications, and so on until all issues are triaged. 

Completing triage in a timely manner is important so that critical issues and release blockers are quickly attended, the testers can provide additional information if needed while it’s still fresh in their memory, and your Applause team can monitor the value you’re seeing from the testing. In addition, the testers are waiting to get your feedback on their work, and it has been shown that providing such feedback will motivate them to rejoin future testing of your products. Last, a large portion of pre-triage issues is likely to also be reflected in your build’s Applause Quality Score and not always for the better, and you may find yourself asking why – and what to do next.

First, it is important to acknowledge that prolonged triage time is the symptom, not the cause. Clearly, when noticing that you may want to get right to completing triage, however at the same time it is worth spending time understanding the reasons for the increase in triage completion time in order to improve for future testing.

Here are a few directions to further investigate slow triage time:

  1. Have the responsibility for triage recently moved from your Applause team to your team? Quite commonly your Applause team will be used to deliver a fast triage, and shift in responsibilities may have introduced a learning curve.
  2. Was there a recent change in personnel – specifically whomever is responsible for triage in your team  – that may have resulted with lost knowledge of your product, triage process and/or bring different subjective views on what are relevant issues? Changes are inevitable, yet documentation and knowledge transfer are key to ongoing success.
  3. Were there any competing priorities and/or resource difficulties preventing your team to complete the trige at the pace you normally do? Will you classify such challenges as temporary or permanent? Granted, long-lasting stretching of resources may impact future testing.
  4. Was there a temporary personnel matter, such as vacations, sick leaves or holiday, that may have prevented whomever is responsible for triage to complete it on time? Make sure resources are covered in such cases, and ensure awareness with your Applause team.

Whatever the issue, you are advised to collaborate with your Applause team to further troubleshoot the causes for the prolonged triage time, and identify improvement opportunities in your processes and testing strategy.

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